D-Sector for Development Community

   Friday, February 22, 2019
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Expert View
Views of domain experts and renowned commentators on diverse issues.

The Food insecurity Bill
By Pandurang Hegde  | 23 Dec 2011

The populist schemes like the Food Security Bill, without considering the larger issues related to subsistence farming and local food production, would lead to even more food insecurity.

Mullaperiyar: Lives or livelihoods?
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 22 Dec 2011

Nearly hundred large dams in the country are over a century old. Controversy over Mullaperiyar dam provides an opportunity to evolve legal and institutional mechanism to ensure the safety of people and all such structures.

Environment enters Punjab discourse
By Devinder Sharma  | 21 Dec 2011

Alarmed by deteriorating environmental, social and physical health of Punjab, concerned citizens and organisations join hands to put pressure on the political parties to present a time bound programme to improve the condition of the state.

Fooling the farmer
By Devinder Sharma  | 30 Nov 2011

The proposal to allow multinational retail giants to enter India is pushed on the pretext of its possible benefits for the poor farmers. What many do not know is that big retail has only aggravated problems for the farmers everywhere they established their chain of mega stores.

If farmers stop growing food?
By Pandurang Hegde  | 15 Nov 2011

Paddy farmers of Andhra Pradesh, pushed into corner by rising losses in farming and harmful policies of governments, have decided to take a break from growing paddy. The policymakers must ensure remunerative prices for foodgrain crops, otherwise the farmer unrest could soon result in a major food crisis.

Blindfolded, they grope in dark!
By Devinder Sharma  | 06 Nov 2011

With food inflation rising continuously and steeply for years, the low-income groups are badly affected. However, there seems to be a complete lack of motivation on the part of government to bring down the prices of food items as it continues to blame inflation on non-existent reasons.

Nothing green about 'green economy'
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 31 Oct 2011

Market forces are keen to put price tag on natural services but such an initiative can open a Pandora's Box of conflicting situations. Can we rule out trade-off in a capitalist market once nature and its services are commodified?

When villages fought over surplus water
By Dinesh Kumar Mishra  | 25 Oct 2011

The common understanding is that all water related conflicts arise because of its scarcity. But there have been instances in Bihar, when myopic engineering measures led to violent struggles among flood affected people.

Farmers deserve higher food prices
By Pandurang Hegde  | 22 Oct 2011

As agrarian crisis continues to turn bad to worse, policies to suppress food-prices will not help the poor farmers growing foodgrains. How long farmers can sacrifice and subsidise rest of the population?

One percent v/s 99 percent
By Devinder Sharma  | 21 Oct 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" is an expression of resentment against public policies that treat democracies as private club run by rich, for the rich. In many ways, anti-Wall Street movement is like Mahatma Gandhi's salt satayagrah.

Include agriculture under MNREGA
By Devinder Sharma  | 12 Oct 2011

Started as an effective tool to help rural poor to gainful employment in the villages, the rural job guarantee act has begun to adversely affect agriculture and food production. It is high time to bring convergence between farming and MNREGA to ensure livelihood security.

Saving Punjab farmer
By Devinder Sharma  | 04 Oct 2011

To overcome the adverse long term impacts of intensive farming, Punjab needs to make its agriculture more sustainable and farmer centric.

The business of knowledge
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 26 Sep 2011

In the race to keep pace with the educational imperatives of growing population can quality of education be allowed to be compromised? Prakash Jha's film Aarakshan takes a compelling dig against privatisation in education.

Teary tale of onion trade
By Devinder Sharma  | 21 Sep 2011

The recent ban on onion exports resulted in an aggressive lobbying to revoke the ban as demanded by the wholesale traders. The way Chief Ministers and cabinet ministers joined hands against the export ban, it is obvious that onions have become important political tool.

Greed eyeing green
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 16 Sep 2011

Is green capitalism a distraction from the real issues that the world needs to address to realize sustainable development?

Distressed farmers declare crop-holiday
By Devinder Sharma  | 15 Sep 2011

To revive agriculture and to make farmers debt-free, government must bring in a Farmers Income Guarantee Act to determine the monthly income package a farm family must receive.

Maize Matters
By Pandurang Hegde  | 09 Sep 2011

Backed by government support, maize cultivation has spread to a large area of India to cater to increased demand from the industry. The shift towards maize will not only upset the delicate nutritional balance in dry regions but it will also pave way for agri-corps to push GM maize into India.

Corruption behind farm-crisis
By Devinder Sharma  | 07 Sep 2011

Corruption has not only hindered development of India but its role in creating and aggravating farm crisis is no less critical. Corrupt scientists, bank officials and policy makers have pushed farmers to the brink.

Price-tag for ties with nature?
By Sudhirendar Sharma  | 24 Aug 2011

By ignoring the cultural dimension of climate change adaptation, the capital centric efforts through economic valuation of nature and people's relations with it, will alter forever peoples' attitude towards it.

Pushing adivasis to the brink
By Pandurang Hegde  | 09 Aug 2011

On the occasion of the 'International Day of the World's Indigenous People', the policy makers should realize that unless corrective and protective measures are put in place, the adivasis would soon lose their livelihoods, culture and faith to the mad rush to exploit the natural resources.

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

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On Western Terrorism
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
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